Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

14 September 2008


I must admit I've never been a big fan of this flower. This is primarily because they appear soulless and have a near perfect prettiness that gives off a "look at me, but don't touch me" air. They do not possess the friendliness of daisies, or the fearful symmetry of dahlias. They lack the lambent air of fuchsia, nor do they attract you with the droopy grace of wisteria.

This year Shimla saw an extravagant crop of red, orange, pink, white and yellow ones. On closer examination, I found the flowers not unattractive. The outer petals are bigger than the inner ones, and are borne on hairy stems. Their leaves have a bristly edge and are ovate (with pointy ends) or rounded. the leaves tend to alternate on the stem. My vade mecum (Flowers of the Himalaya) identifies four Himalayan species: Begonia josephii, B. picta, B. diocia an B. rubella.

The classification is as follows;
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Begoniaceae
Genus: Begonia

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